Oxford United Women are pleased to reveal that versatile midfielder Lily Stevens has joined Liam Gilbert’s squad for 2020/21.
The former Welsh youth international has family links with the U's: brother Jack is an exciting young forward in the Under 21 side, and Lily had no hesitation in signing for the ambitious U's.
“I think after speaking to the manager we instantly got on really well and I really liked his values and where he wants to take the football club moving forwards. It took just one conversation to sort everything and convince me. I’ve been into a couple of sessions and I’ve met all of the girls, and it moved pretty quickly from there.
“I think the main aim for everyone at the club is to get promotion and win the league, so I’m really looking forward to that challenge.”
Stevens can play in both defence and midfield roles, and the 21-year-old gave United fans some insight into what to expect when she takes to the pitch with a number of familiar faces from her time at Reading.
“I like being on the ball, I like passing the ball. I’d say that I’ve got quite good vision, so I like looking for passes and trying to link up the defence to the attack. I’ve previously played with a couple of the players here already. I know Daisy [McLachlan]; I grew up playing with her at Reading, so it will be good to play with some of them again.”
A Welsh international at various youth levels, all the way up until the under-19 age group, Stevens reflected on how important those experiences were for herself as a player.
“Growing up playing in the Welsh youth teams was an insane experience. I got to travel to so many different countries and play, it’s just really cool to play at international level. You learn so much, it’s just such an amazing experience.
“Growing up playing in European qualifying tournaments, those were so cool and so professional. Growing up and playing in a couple of those was insane.”
After keeping healthy both physically and mentally during the lockdown period, Stevens now cannot wait to get going with her new teammates.
“I’ve had a lot of programmes to do physically, so that hasn’t been a problem, but mentally I’ve just communicating and speaking to loads of the girls and my friends who are in the same situation, staying motivated and waiting for it all to get back to normal.
“I just want to play and enjoy my football, hopefully help the team in securing promotion and winning the league.”